Friday, February 4, 2011

A Dispassionate Note

A Dispassionate Note

I’m a passionate guy: I get so involved with, and excited about, everything I do - I get so attached to everything I have and love to collect and savor those treasures. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I try to use these to inspire those around me. I’m passionate about everything, including everything I own - that’s ok until you have to move. That’s when some dispassion is needed!

Open up a drawer in your kitchen or bedside table; look in a box you packed sometime in the past and put away; try on some old favorite clothing you haven’t worn in a long time; go through boxes you’ve stored in an attic or basement or storage unit. Do you need any of that stuff and more importantly, can you bring yourself to get rid of any of it? Most of us cannot. Because deep down we feel some kind of connection and loyalty to that stuff or at least to the memory of what that stuff represents. That’s when you need someone’s help who’s not connected to the things you’ve collected and the memories they represent.

They can go through things without any of the connections you’ve associated with them and they can move them to a more appropriate place, which sometimes is the dumpster (something you could never bring yourself to do). They can see the folly in keeping that menu or matchbook that was saved to help you remember something that is long and appropriately forgotten. They can get through the piles of things that represent the miles of memories. Because it’s not the stuff that makes the memories that make you who you are – even without the stuff, you’ll still have the memories and be you. Because the you that’s really you is inside and that’s not going to change whether you have or don’t have all of that stuff anymore. Because the connection and loyalty you feel to the memories that come from all that stuff will still be there whether you have that stuff or not. And once it’s gone, you’re free to keep growing and learning and experiencing and becoming more of you. 

So I got rid of more stuff than I ever imagined I could – and it didn’t diminish the passion that I feel for all that those things represented (wow, what a revelation). And I’m freer now than I’ve been in a long time and it feels great. There’s less clutter and more freedom. The trick will be to remember this and not start another round of collecting – but if I do, I now know that having a dispassionate person to help sort it all out is a good thing. So find yourself someone who can help you shed many of those long-ago collected but no-longer-needed things that are accumulating all around you. You don’t have to move to do this – you just have to get started.

My message this week is about loyalty and how it can help you do more and be more.

“No more duty can be urged upon those who are entering the great theater of life than simple loyalty to their best convictions.”  -Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Edwin Hubbel Chapin (1814 – 1880) was an American preacher and editor of the Christian Leader. He was a trustee of Bellevue Medical College and Hospital and a member of the beneficent society called the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

You have to believe in what you’re doing. Not just believe in it, but know all about what you’re doing, get engaged entirely, eat/sleep/believe it with all your being – that’s how to be loyal to whatever you’re doing. And being loyal to whatever you’re doing is critically important to its success – because that means you’ll commit all of your energy and focus on it, and you’ll help others to better understand it and be able to lend their efforts effectively, and you’ll pay close attention to everything about it to make sure that nothing goes wrong.  This attention to detail, commitment to excellence and dedication to quality is what it takes to be successful in the great theater of life. And let’s face it – isn’t that what you want?  So start today to be loyal to your best convictions!

Stay well!

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